Events

  • 2020 Feb 06

    Scholarly Dissidence in Early Chosŏn: Disengaging Scholars and Alternative Ways of Serving

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Korea Colloquium
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    Diana Yuksel
    Assistant Professor of Korean Language and Literature, University of Bucharest; Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Korea Institute, Harvard University

    Chaired by Sun Joo Kim, ...

    Read more about Scholarly Dissidence in Early Chosŏn: Disengaging Scholars and Alternative Ways of Serving
  • 2020 Feb 20

    Korea’s America: A Power Intertwined with Korean Sovereignty, 1882-1945

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    SBS Seminar
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    Hanmee Na Kim
    Assistant Professor of History, Wheaton College

    Hanmee Na Kim is an Assistant Professor of History at Wheaton College. Her research interests include Americanism in Korea, Korea-U.S. diplomatic/cultural/intellectual interactions (1866-1945), and Korean students in the U.S. (1884-1960). Her work is published in Positions: Asia Critique, and she is currently working on a book manuscript on the development of Americanism in Korea. She received her Ph.D. in Modern Korean History from UCLA.

    Chaired by Carter Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University

    Abstract:
    From 1882 to 1943, the United States officially and consistently maintained its policy of non-interference in Korea and emphasized that it remained disinterested.  And yet, a significant group of Korean elites during this period continually articulated, believed in, and strategically used the idea that America was a supporter of Korean sovereignty.  This talk explores how and why this tendency materialized by examining the nature of early Korea-U.S. relations (1882-1905) as well as the activities and discourse of Korean students in the U.S. during the colonial period. Through this exploration, the talk asserts that there developed a Korean version of America during this period—an “America” that was intricately linked with Korean dynamics, interests, and issues and less concerned with the actual political characteristics of the U.S. This discussion offers a way to historically trace, in part, the development of Americanism in Korea.

    Generously supported by the Korea Institute’s SBS Foundation Research Fund... Read more about Korea’s America: A Power Intertwined with Korean Sovereignty, 1882-1945

  • 2020 Mar 02

    Film Screening of “Shusenjo” with a Discussion with the Director, Miki Dezaki

    4:15pm

    Location: 

    Tsai Auditorium (S010), CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Film Screening & Discussion with the Director; jointly sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center, the Kim Koo Forum at the Korea Institute, and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies


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    Miki Dezaki
    Film Director

    Miki Dezaki is a recent graduate (March 2018) of the Graduate Program in Global Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo. He worked for the Japan Exchange Teaching Program for five years in Yamanashi and Okinawa before becoming a Buddhist monk in Thailand for one year. He is also known as "Medamasensei" on Youtube, where he has made comedy videos and videos on social issues in Japan. His most notable video is "Racism in Japan," which led to numerous online attacks by Japanese neo-nationalists who attempted to deny the existence of racism and discrimination against Zainichi Koreans (Koreans with permanent residency in Japan) and Burakumin (historical outcasts still discriminated today). "Shusenjo" is his directorial debut.

    Moderated by Carter Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University

    About the Movie:
    The "comfort women" issue is perhaps Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandary. Inside Japan, the issue is dividing the country across clear ideological lines. Supporters and detractors of "comfort women" are caught in a relentless battle over empirical evidence, the validity of oral testimony, the number of victims, the meaning of sexual slavery, and the definition of coercive recruitment. Credibility, legitimacy and influence serve as the rallying cry for all those involved in the battle. In addition, this largely domestic battleground has been shifted to the international arena, commanding the participation of various state and non-state actors and institutions from all over the world. This film delves deep into the most contentious debates and uncovers the hidden intentions of the supporters and detractors of comfort women. Most importantly it finds answers to some of the biggest questions for Japanese and Koreans: Were comfort women prostitutes or sex slaves? Were they coercively recruited? And, does Japan have a legal responsibility to apologize to the former comfort women?

    The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo Foundation... Read more about Film Screening of “Shusenjo” with a Discussion with the Director, Miki Dezaki

  • 2020 Mar 05

    Millennial North Korea: Cell Phones, Forbidden Media, and Living Creatively under Surveillance

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Kim Koo Forum on Korea Current Affairs

    Suk-Young Kim
    Professor of Theater and Performance Studies; Director of the Center for Performance Studies, UCLA

    Suk-Young Kim's research interests cover a wide range of academic disciplines, such as East Asian Performance and Visual Culture, Gender and Nationalism, Korean Cultural Studies, Russian Literature and Slavic Folklore. Her publications have appeared in English, German, Korean, Polish and Russian while her research has been acknowledged by the International Federation for Theatre Research's New Scholar's Prize (2004), the American Society for Theater Research Fellowship (2006), the Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship (2006-7) and the Academy of Korean Studies Research Grant (2008, 2010, 2015-2020), among others. Her first book, Illusive Utopia:Theater, Film, and Everyday Performance in North Korea (University of Michigan Press, 2010), the winner of the 2013 James Palais Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies, explores how state-produced propaganda performances intersect with everyday life practice in North Korea. Her second book, DMZ Crossing: Performing Emotional Citizenship Along the Korean Border (Columbia University Press, 2014), focuses on various types of inter-Korean border crossers who traverse one of the most heavily guarded areas in the world to redefine Korean citizenship as based on emotional affiliations rather than constitutional delineations. In 2015, DMZ Crossing was recognized with the Association for Theater in Higher Education Outstanding Book Award. In collaboration with Kim Yong, she also co-authored Long Road Home (Columbia University Press, 2009), which investigates transnational human rights and the efficacy of oral history through the testimony of a North Korean labor camp survivor.

    Sponsored by the 2014-15 ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship, she recently published K-pop Live: Fans, Idols, and Multimedia Performance (Stanford University Press, 2018). This project traces the rapid rise of Korean popular music (K-pop) in relation to the equally meteoric rise of digital consumerism — a phenomenon mostly championed by the widespread development of high-speed Internet and the distribution of mobile gadgets — and situates their tenacious partnership in the historical context of Korea from the early 1990s to the present day. She is currently working on several book-length projects: Media and Technology in North Korea, Korean Language Theater in Kazakhstan and Russian Theatrical Costumes and the Vestige of Empire.

    Kim served on the editorial board of the Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia and is currently at work as a senior editor for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. She also sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Korean Studies and serves on the advisory committee for the Hong Kong University Book Series Crossings: Asian Cinema and Media Culture.

    Kim previously taught at Dartmouth College and UC Santa Barbara. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Theatre and Drama with a Certificate in Gender Studies from Northwestern University in 2005 and her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001.

    Chaired by Alexander Zahlten, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

    Abstract
    North Korea might be known as the world’s most secluded society, but it has witnessed the rapid rise of media technologies in the new millennium. While the North Korean state is anxiously trying to catch up with the world standard of communication technology, it is also faced with the need to block free influx of outside information by allowing only intranet to its people. In a country where smuggling foreign media still can be punished by public execution, how do North Koreans manage to access outside information? This project explores how the expansion of new media technology complicates the country’s seemingly monolithic facade mired in entangled networks of technology and surveillance, intellectual property and copyrights, and the way for millennials to live creatively with censorship.

    The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo Foundation.... Read more about Millennial North Korea: Cell Phones, Forbidden Media, and Living Creatively under Surveillance

  • 2020 Mar 12

    Feminism at Workplace?: The Unconventional Linkage of the Feminine and the Feminist in Contemporary South Korea

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    Belfer Case Study Room (S020), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    SBS Distinguished Lecture In the Social Sciences

    Hyun Mee Kim
    Professor and Chair of the Department of Cultural Anthropology, Yonsei University

    Hyun Mee Kim is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Cultural Anthropology and the core faculty member for the Graduate Program in Culture and Gender Studies. Her research interests include gender, migration, critical cultural theories, urban and human ecology and globalization and labor. She has written articles on diverse migrants coming to South Korea including marriage migrants, asylum seekers and economic migrants. Her current research is on the formation of the therapeutic self and the emergence of city meditators in South Korea. She is the author of Cultural Translation in a Global Era (2005) and We Always Leave Home: Becoming Migrants in South Korea (2014), and co-edited Intimate Enemy: How Neoliberalism Has Become Our Everyday Lives (2010), and We Are All People with Differences: Towards Multiculturalism for Co-existence (2013). She was a Committee Member for the Division of Human Rights for Foreigners, National Human Rights Commission of Korea (2008-2010) and is a member of the Forum on Human Rights for Migrant Women in South Korea.

    Chaired by Nicholas Harkness, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

    Abstract:
    The lecture analyzes how contemporary Korean women experience 'gender' in unstable workplaces and develop new ways of intimacy or 'fake intimacy', and affective bonds with their co-workers. It reflects the impact of neoliberal precarity on Korean young women at workplace and also the current debate of Korean feminism against marriage as the state institution. The working women tend to incorporate recent feminist ideas of demystifying heterosexual norms and marriage in the name of “4B” campaign and the "escape the corset" movement. The so-called "4-Anti" (non-marriage, non-birth, non-relationship and non-sex) has emerged as the most radical gender politics around online public forums. However, young women who constantly change jobs need to perform the practices of intimacy and ‘showing’ by presenting cheerful, motivated, and feminine self to co-workers. Based on my interviews with yougn working women, this presentation shows how Korean women negotiate the tensions and challenges of work, performed self, and feminist politics to gain corporate citizenship.

    Supported by the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) Endowment for Korean Studies at the Korea Institute, Harvard University... Read more about Feminism at Workplace?: The Unconventional Linkage of the Feminine and the Feminist in Contemporary South Korea

  • 2020 Apr 09

    Cold War’s Nature: The Korean Demilitarized Zone and Mid-Century American Science

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Korea Colloquium

    Eleana Kim
    Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

    Eleana Kim is a sociocultural anthropologist and author of Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging (Duke UP, 2010), which received the 2012 James B. Palais Prize from the Association of Asian Studies, and the 2012 Social Science Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. She is currently completing an ethnography on multispecies encounters in the Korean Demilitarized Zone, based on five years of fieldwork and archival research, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the ACLS. Related articles have been published in Cultural Anthropology, Social Research, and the edited volume, How Nature Works (SAR Press, 2019). She is an associate professor in the Anthropology Department and affiliated faculty of the Asian American Studies Department at University of California, Irvine.

    Chaired by Nicholas Harkness, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

    Abstract:
    Since the early 2000s, international media coverage of the interKorean conflict has frequently included stories about the rare and endangered species that live in the DMZ, a buffer area borne out of the Korean War. This “accidental” natural sanctuary is framed in mythical, ahistorical terms––an ecological paradise blossoming out of unending war and symbolizing nature’s resilience. Drawing on archives from the Smithsonian Institution and South Korean sources, this talk offers a critical, transnational history of the DMZ’s ecology, tracing its origins to the mid-1960s, when a network of U.S. conservationists and Smithsonian ecologists first identified and constructed it as an “outdoor laboratory” within the emerging paradigm of “ecosystem science.” Beginning in 1965, American and South Korean scientists began collaborating on studies of the DMZ as a militarily protected space of ecological recovery and as a baseline for understanding the ecological effects of industrialization on the rest of South Korea, which was undergoing rapid transformations under the authoritarian regime of Park Chung Hee. The DMZ’s ecology is an example of what I call “Cold War’s nature,” entangled within and reproductive of American scientific and political exceptionalism during a period of rising environmental awareness and expanding U.S. military empire. The DMZ area has since proven to be less of a “baseline” than a fragile refuge where ongoing militarization and incursions of capital are threatening actually existing life forms. I conclude by drawing upon ethnographic research on human-nonhuman assemblages in the DMZ area to ask what theoretical and political possibilities might be offered by a multispecies approach to the study of “Cold War legacies” and the ongoing Korean War.

     

    Generously supported by the Min Young-Chul Memorial Fund at the Korea Institute.... Read more about Cold War’s Nature: The Korean Demilitarized Zone and Mid-Century American Science

  • 2020 Apr 16

    Colonizing Language: Cultural Production and Language Politics in Modern Japan and Korea

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Korea Colloquium; co-sponsored by the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies
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    Christina Yi
    Assistant Professor of Modern Japanese Literature at the University of British Columbia

    Christina Yi is Assistant Professor of Modern...

    Read more about Colonizing Language: Cultural Production and Language Politics in Modern Japan and Korea
  • 2020 Apr 23

    Stitching the 24-hour City: Life, Labor, and the Problem of Speed in Seoul

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Korea Colloquium

    Seo Young Park
    Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Scripps Colleges

    http://www.scrippscollege.edu/academics/faculty/profile/seo-young-park

    Chaired by Nicholas Harkness, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

    Abstract:
    TBA

    Generously supported by the Min Young-Chul Memorial Fund at the Korea Institute.... Read more about Stitching the 24-hour City: Life, Labor, and the Problem of Speed in Seoul

  • 2020 May 04

    Manchurian Modern: the Root of the Korean Developmental State

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    TBA

    Kim Koo Forum on Korea Current Affairs

    Suk-Jung Han
    President, Dong-A University

    In his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, Suk-Jung Han opened up the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo, long sealed in Korean and Chinese anti-colonial nationalism. He detachedly applied state theories to its state formation and emphasized its state effect in his dissertation, “State effect of Manchukuo, 1932-1936”. Since then, the implication of Manchukuo has become his long interest. He published a book in Korean, Manchukuk kŏnkuk ŭi Chaehaesŏk (reinterpreting making of Manchukuo) (1999, revised in 2007) and translated Prof. Duara’s Sovereignty and Authenticity; Manchukuo and East Asian Modern (2003) into Korean in 2008. He recently wrote Manchu Motŏn (Manchurian Modern) (2016) on the influence of Manchukuo to Korean developmental state.

    In Korea, he organized the Manchurian Studies Association in 1999. It is a rare interdisciplinary forum, focusing on Manchurian studies, composed of scholars in the fields of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, and Russian pre-modern and modern history, literature, geography, political science, and sociology. Its journal, Manchu yonku has attained the accreditation of Korea Research Foundation (KCI class) and is given its financial support.

    For the last two decades, he has been invited to talks on Manchurian issue at various schools (Harvard, University of Chicago, Bonn University, and those in Korea, Japan). After publishing his recent book, he was invited to book reviews eight times in Korea. And he has collected the relevant data at several institutes (the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto for two years, Heilongjiang Provincial Library, Asia Research Institute of Singapore National University, etc.). He once taught classes on modern Korea (the State and Society in Contemporary Korea, Resistance Literature, etc.) at the University of California, Irvine as a Fulbright scholar.    

    He has taught historical sociology at Dong-A University for over 30 years. He has been in administration as Dean of Social Sciences, Vice President, Provost, and President (2016-). In the late 1970s, he was the only person who worked for ‘three enfant terrible’ trading companies (Yulsan, Chese, and Taepong Trading Co.), whose dramatic rise and fall inspired some novels and TV dramas. He subsequently became a journalist for Hankuk ilbo (Korea Daily) and witnessed the historic upheaval after ex-president Park Chung Hee’s assassination (called, the ‘Spring of Seoul’ in 1980), which briefly decompressed his regime but was finally settled down by Gen. Chun Doo Hwan’s military coup.

    In his 40s, he participated in amateur boxing match twice in Pusan, hiding his age. In his 50s, he legitimately joined the national professional boxing match, held once and for all for people in their 40s and 50s.  

    Chaired by Carter Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University

    Abstract
    Manchukuo, long sealed in the Chinese and Korean nationalist discourse, actually is the black box for the South Korean developmental state. Japanese empire was a kind of cultural order in which modern institutes and ideas, including the expertise of state-making, were diffused. Manchukuo was the vital link in a series of state-making in the empire from the late 19th century. It was the proto type of other colonial states and the future South Korean state.

    Colonialism surely was painful calamity for the colonized. However, it might be the moment for their adaptation of modernity to overtake even ex-rulers. Economic development and mobilization in Manchukuo style of the Southern regime would become the base for its Cold War race with the Northern regime and potentially with Japan in some realms in some future.

    The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo Foundation.... Read more about Manchurian Modern: the Root of the Korean Developmental State